Best Mortgage Lenders in Iowa in 2019

ValuePenguin is a consumer finance website dedicated to providing consumers with clear, objective advice for the financial decisions they make every day. We've spent dozens of hours comparing lenders in the Iowa marketplace to distill the information that matters most to you.

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Best For…LenderMin. Credit ScoreHighlights
First-Time HomebuyersWells Fargo620
  • Largest IFA Mortgage volume originated in 2018 of any bank lender
  • Second-largest branch network in Iowa
RefinancingUniversity of Iowa Community Credit Union580
  • Most popular lender in the state
  • Credit Union membership open to all Iowa residents
Online LoansQuicken Loans620
  • Highest customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power for 8 years in a row
  • Flexible refinancing terms
VA LoansVeterans United Home Loans620
  • Fastest-growing VA lender among Iowa's top mortgage companies
  • Most popular veteran-focused lender in Iowa
Poor CreditPremier Lending Alliance580
  • Iowa's Fastest-growing FHA lender
  • One of the 5 most popular FHA lenders in Iowa
Best For…LenderMin. Credit Score
First-Time HomebuyersWells Fargo620
RefinancingUniversity of Iowa Community Credit Union580
Online LoansQuicken Loans620
VA LoansVeterans United Home Loans620
Poor CreditPremier Lending Alliance580

Finding the best mortgage lender in Iowa requires finding the right mix of affordable interest rates, timely loan processing and dependable customer service. Read more about our top picks in the Hawkeye State below.

Best Mortgage Lender for First-Time Home Buyers: Wells Fargo

We picked Wells Fargo as our No. 1 pick for first-time homebuyers in Iowa, thanks to its widely accessible branch network and long history with borrowers in Iowa. It's also the Iowa Finance Authority's (IFA) top bank lender as of the third quarter in 2018.

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo

Consider this if You're looking for an accessible local lender that offers first-time homebuyer assistance.

Good for:Bad for:
  • Borrowers who prefer face-to-face service.
  • First-time homebuyers seeking down payment assistance.
  • Those who need many loan options.
  • Those looking for great customer service.

Read the full review.

Wells Fargo has 60 branches in the state of Iowa, making it easy to chat face to face with a loan officer whether you live in Davenport or Ankeny. It's the most popular bank lender in the state and holds the record for originating the greatest volume of IFA loans of any bank in Iowa. Wells Fargo is approved to offer homes loans under the IFA's First Home Program and Homes for Iowans Program. These state-sponsored mortgage loans allow qualifying homebuyers to pay as little as 3% down for their new home purchase without requiring any PMI. The best part about these programs is that your rate offer won't change regardless of your credit profile, which makes it a great way for new borrowers to get a competitive mortgage rate.

Historically, Wells Fargo hasn't received top marks for customer satisfaction; data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that 0.3% of all mortgages originated by Wells Fargo in Iowa receive some form of customer service complaint. By comparison, U.S. Bank received less than half that proportion in complaints. Nevertheless, Wells Fargo offers some of the most competitive rates in the state, which makes it worth getting a quote if you're trying to take advantage of its first-time homebuyer programs. If Wells Fargo isn't the right lender for you, you may want to check out our other first-time homebuyer recommendations.

Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing: University of Iowa Community Credit Union

We recommend University of Iowa Community Credit Union (UICCU) as our top lender for mortgage refinancing. Its competitive rates, combined with the fact that it's the most popular mortgage lender in Iowa, makes it worth looking into if you're trying to refinance your home loan.

University of Iowa Community Credit Union
University of Iowa Community Credit Union

Consider this if You're looking for a trusted credit union that can refinance your home at competitive rates.

Good for:Bad for:
  • Borrowers who prefer credit unions to banks.
  • No 1% origination fee and low closing costs.
  • Specialty financing programs like FHA and VA loans.
  • Those who live away from population centers.

Not only is UICCU the most popular Iowa credit union for refinancing, it's also the most popular home equity lender in eastern Iowa and second-most popular home equity lender in the state. Obtaining a loan through UICCU requires an existing membership with the credit union; however, it's easily attainable to all residents of Iowa as well as anyone out of state who's affiliated with the University of Iowa.

Credit unions have been known to offer lower fees and better rates than their bank counterparts because they're dedicated to serving their members and not profit-minded shareholders. UICCU is an excellent example of a low-fee lender, as it waives the standard 1% origination fee that most banks charge. The refinancing APRs we saw were particularly competitive, with fees and closing costs making up less than 0.06% of the total mortgage cost. If you're thinking of refinancing your home, make sure you review the average cost of refinancing a mortgage to gauge how much your new loan might cost.

Best Online Mortgage Lender: Quicken Loans

We chose Quicken Loans as the best online lender in Iowa because of its legendary reputation for customer service and unparalleled flexibility when it comes to structuring mortgages.

Quicken Loans
Quicken Loans

Consider this if You're looking for a fast online loan approval from a reputable lender.

Good for:Bad for:
  • Borrowers who need flexibility when structuring their loan terms.
  • Homebuyers who want to close quickly.
  • Homeowners seeking a home equity loan.
  • Borrowers who prefer face-to-face interaction.

Read the full review.

Quicken Loans offers dozens of financing options for homebuyers and existing homeowners. Its unique YOURgage product lets homebuyers structure their purchase and refinance mortgages into any term between eight and 29 years. Borrowers can find almost any type of mortgage loan they want at Quicken Loans, ranging from USDA loans to reverse mortgages; it's also the most popular VA and FHA lender in the state.

True to its name, Quicken boasts an average closing time of 30 days for mortgage loans, one of the fastest in the industry. Nevertheless, you'll pay for the speed and convenience of its fast-convenient closing process, as we found its rates to be above those of most major competitors. Finally, existing homeowners looking for HELOCs are out of luck, as those are one of the few mortgage products you won't find at Quicken Loans. If you're looking for more face-to-face service, take a look at some of our other recommendations instead.

Best Mortgage Lender for VA Loans: Veterans United Home Loans

Veterans United Home Loans stood out as the No. 1 lender for veterans and active service members in Iowa looking for a VA loan, thanks to its competitive VA rates and exceptional customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power.

Veterans United
Veterans United

Consider this if You're looking for a VA lender that prioritizes customer service.

Good for:Bad for:
  • Service members looking to minimize out-of-pocket costs.
  • Veterans who want competitive VA rates.
  • Those who did not serve in the U.S. military.

Read the full review.

Veterans and service members alike have access to the lucrative no-money-down VA loan, which lets military personnel achieve their dream of homeownership while keeping more money in their wallets. Veterans United can help you qualify for a VA loan with no down payment and no PMI requirement. Veterans United also allows you to roll the cost of the VA funding fee into your overall loan amount, which isn't an option with most conventional lenders.

Veterans United is the most popular veteran-focused lender in Iowa, having originated more than 1,300 VA loans over the past five years. It's also the fastest-growing mortgage company among Iowa's top five VA lenders. If you're a veteran looking to take advantage of your VA benefits, Veterans United is a good place to start. For service members looking for other mortgage options, check out our other mortgage recommendations for veterans.

Best Mortgage Lender for Poor Credit: Premier Lending Alliance

Premier Lending Alliance is our top pick for low- to moderate-income homebuyers with less-than-perfect credit scores, due to its focus on government-backed loan programs and its growing reputation as a leading FHA lender in Iowa.

Premier Lending Alliance
Premier Lending Alliance

Consider this if You're having trouble getting approved elsewhere for a conventional mortgage loan.

Good for:Bad for:
  • Specialty-financing programs like USDA, VA and FHA loans.
  • Homebuyers with low to moderate income and poor credit.
  • Borrowers who want to comparison shop online.
  • Home equity loans and second mortgages.

FHA loans are mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration and meant to help homebuyers with low to moderate income achieve the dream of homeownership. Premier Lending Alliance is one of the top five FHA lenders in Iowa, having increased its FHA origination volume by 32% over the past five years.

With down payments as low as 3.5%, FHA loans bring the dream of homeownership closer to reality for millions of Americans. The FHA program accepts credit scores as low as 580. If you're interested in an FHA loan from Premier Lending, check out average FHA rates to get a quick estimate of your FHA loan cost.

Most Popular Home Loan Companies in Iowa

If you're shopping for a mortgage in Iowa, make sure you review quotes from the top lenders to see where average mortgage rates stand. Below are the five most popular mortgage lenders in Iowa, based on the total number of residential home loans originated over the past five years.

Top 5 Biggest Iowa Residential Mortgage Lenders, 2013–2019

RankCompanyMortgage originationsAverage mortgage amount
1University of Iowa Community Credit Union55,493$123,990
2Veridian Credit Union32,314$87,814
3Wells Fargo29,769$152,933
4U.S. Bank22,644$129,145
5Hills Bank20,615$146,861

When comparing lenders, it's a good idea to consider each company's record for customer service in addition to its interest rates. Make sure you also factor in other elements that matter to you but weren't covered in our reviews.

How We Chose the Best Mortgage Lenders in Iowa

While interest rates played a large role in our decision, we also reviewed each lender's unique terms and conditions. When comparing interest charges, fees and closing costs, lenders that offered the same interest rate ended up thousands of dollars apart in fees. Therefore, we chose to compare the following criteria:

  • Total cost: interest rates and closing costs
  • Product: terms, programs and specialty loans
  • Servicing: transparency, complaint data and branch network

We chose to highlight any terms a lender offered that weren't common in the industry. For example, while every mortgage lender in the country offers conventional fixed-rate mortgages, fewer companies specialize in niche programs like USDA or state bond financing. We chose to highlight these traits where appropriate.

We also reviewed customer complaints from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to forecast the likelihood of issues arising during the origination and servicing process. We assessed the size of each lender's branch network as well as the usability of its online platform to measure each lender's accessibility and reputation for customer service.

Mortgage Brokers Near Me in Iowa

Mortgage brokers compare offers from multiple lenders on your behalf and are an excellent resource for first-time homebuyers and anyone uncomfortable with the mortgage shopping process. They differ from loan officers in that they're able to offer loans from multiple competing lenders rather than a single company. Use the table below to find a licensed mortgage broker near you.

NameAddressPhone number
HALO Capital859 17th St, Des Moines, IA 50314(515) 974-6908
Hall Lending Group1918 St Andrews Ct NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402(319) 899-3820
First Rate Mortgage1350 Hannah Ln, Waukee, IA 50263(515) 771-9998
Open Mortgage9708 Candleridge Cir, Johnston, IA 50131(515) 986-3199
Iowa Mortgage Solutions4403 1st Ave SE #110, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402(319) 377-1988
Inlanta Mortgage - The Kupka Mortgage Team1103 Buckeye Ave Suite 103, Ames, IA 50010(515) 598-5626
Iowa Home Mortgage202 SW Cherry St, Ankeny, IA 50023(515) 494-6162
Mortgage Producers, Inc2755 106th St, Urbandale, IA 50322(515) 251-3806
Madison Miller

Madison is a former Research Analyst at ValuePenguin who focused on student loans and personal loans. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Financial Economics with a double minor in Business and Psychology.

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Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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